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Mrs Bear

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Everything posted by Mrs Bear

  1. Plenty of relatively poorly paid live-in maids from the likes of Indonesia, though.
  2. Even if it RTB isn't overturned, I think they need to tighten up a lot on the rules - how long you need to have lived there, etc., how long before you can sell, and to whom. Maybe a cap should be put on ex LA homes rents, in line with LA rents in the area, to make them less attractive to LLs. I have heard of cases of fraud re RTB - I dare say it's not uncommon. Having said that, an old friend of mine - a staunch Labour voter - bought the family (LA) home where she'd lived for over 40 years, shortly after RTB was first introduced. She's still living there and will very likely only leave in a box. IMO the scheme was largely intended for people like her, not for sharks and speculators.
  3. BTW, why don't one of you lot who are IT whizzes, set up a similar site (with correct spelling of course) for the UK?
  4. To be fair, you see plenty of that sort of thing on this side of the pond, too. Who's/whose, your/you're/it's/its/there/their/they're..... Never mind the likes of discreet/discrete. I'm not sure we are entitled to point the 'illiterate' finger at anyone. Edit - loose/lose! How could I forget that?
  5. And while they're at it, cancel Help to Buy, too. It was always obvious that it was only going to inflate the prices of newbuilds, which are so often overpriced per sq m anyway, compared with older-builds. When RTB was introduced, I doubt that anyone foresaw the ludicrous rise in house prices relative to incomes, and the housing crisis that would ensue. As for Labour, who so love to berate Thatcher for Right to Buy, if they were so violently against it, why the hell didn't they cancel it? They had plenty of time in power to do so. Answer - because they thought it would lose them too many votes, since surprise, surprise, plenty of lifelong Labour voters had either taken advantage of RTB, or were hoping to do so.
  6. Exactly. So you have to admit, it's very noble of them to give up so much of their time telling other people how they too can make millions from property! I cant think why none of them featured on the New Year's Honours list, for their entirely altruistic aid to the less fortunate.
  7. Sounds like the same old con-lot - come to a free 'seminar' and we'll see how many mugs will then shell out for a paid one, when we'll kindly let you into the secret of making loadsamoney in no time! Frequent stratgey IIRC from what I heard, was getting said mugs to buy newbuild flats, in areas they didn't know and had done zero research on, lured in by 'guaranteed returns' of x%. Only to find later that rents quoted were too high, there were 23 exactly like theirs sitting empty in the same block, and by the time they decided to sell, they couldn't give it away. Or rather they probably could, for a good deal less than they paid, which left them up shit creek and writing to the weekend money pages to say how cruelly they'd been duped, somebody ought to be giving them a paddle, it wasn't fair!
  8. I haven't watched this for ages, but it often seemed to me that there were vague problems in the marriage, and they thought that if only it was nice and hot, they had a pool in the garden, and could have barbies 5 times a week, everything would be lovely. Cold hard reality often included not just the relative price of housing, but the higher cost of food and all sorts, not to mention stinking hot not being quite so lovely when you're working, and not sitting by a pool/on a beach all day.
  9. Very true. Mr B's relative doesn't live there - he earns his money elsewhere so it's a holiday home, but he will retire there. Might add that he's extremely generous in making it available to family almost ad lib (and gratis) - sundry relatives have taken large parties of friends there several times.
  10. A relative of Mr B's has a beautiful 17thC chateau in France, relatively 'modest', nothing like 47 rooms - maybe 20 max - immaculately renovated by the previous owners. He once told me that the heating oil alone costs €50k a year, and that's without the general maintenance. He can afford it, but I do wonder how many people are seduced by the space you can get for what seems such a bargain price, without realising how ravenously they eat money. The truth is, they're 'cheap' for a reason - there are a lot of them, and very few people can afford to maintain them.
  11. I don't see how Welby is supposed to have any influence over the materialistic gorge-fest. I am not remotely religious, but I'm aware that a good many churches quietly do their bit for the homeless and disadvantaged. St Martin in the Fields has been doing a great deal for many years.
  12. Two Ds you didn't mention are Dementia and Decrepitude - the need to sell for care home fees. Twice in this family - my mother and an aunt.
  13. Pay or jail? WTF? Prison costs the taxpayer a bomb. Pay or confiscation of property. Plus banning from any kind of LL-ing in future.
  14. Er, how does older children looking after younger ones work, when the older one needs to be at school/pre school and the parents are both working? Though should add that my granddaughter would be only too willing to look after a no. 3. She has already dictated a wish list for Father Christmas, including 'a real baby, boy or girl.' She is three and a half.
  15. Well, a lot of UK g-parents do help out a lot with childcare, but what with so many of their children starting families later in life, it often means that grandparents are 60s/70s rather than 50s, and consequently find looking after very little ones that much more exhausting. I used to do regular childcare for one, but when no. 2 arrived only 15 months later, I knew it was going to be too much, so we help with nursery costs instead - I know we are lucky to be able to afford it. I still do quite a few one-offs/emergencies, though.
  16. From experience of my own daughters and their contemporaries, people are forming long long term relationships later - not necessarily because they don't want to, but because they only found the right person relatively late. Elder daughter and several of her contemporaries only started families in late 30s/early 40s. And some of them would love more than 2, but because of sky high housing and childcare costs, it's pretty much out of the question. Only 2 of daughter's extensive circle have had 3 children, and those are the ones to whom expenses are not a major issue, I.e. the highest earners.
  17. The bloke is a boomer - that's quite enough reason for Si1 to despise him.
  18. Daughter was in the same position a few years ago - new job in Oxford and hoping to buy, but short term rentals were very scarce and in any case terribly expensive, a lot more than the usual 6 months plus. She and future husband ended up renting just a spare room in someone's house - obv. not ideal and it was a long commute, but thankfully they found a house and the purchase went through quite quickly. Should think they were in the spare room for around 3 months, so it was manageable short term.
  19. Only a few months ago I saw at least 5 HMOs (described as such) up for sale during a general search on Rightmove or Zoopla, in just one area of Oxford. 190 sounds ludicrous. There are presumably a great many that aren't registered.
  20. Disliked Homebase for years, not least because there were always so many dead and dying plants since nobody was watering them. More than once I rescued a few that weren't on their very last legs/roots. Nice to see them perk up after a good soaking.
  21. All very well if you can cope with someone eventually wetting the bed 3 times a night, because they keep taking their incontinence pads off, up and down half the night demanding to go out for fish and chips/to a job they haven't had for years, or demanding 16 times a day to go 'home' to somewhere they haven't lived since 1959, angrily accusing you of stealing their things/money, which they've hidden so successfully it's months until they turn up..... etc. etc. etc. A walk in the park, obviously.
  22. Still, good to see it there in black and white for the information (perhaps) of the clueless. HTB has just exacerbated the newbuild premium anyway. Well before it was even introduced, when a daughter was looking to buy in SW17 (she never did) I remember wondering who on earth was buying newbuild one beds of about 45 sq m, with nowhere to put anything and hefty service charges on top, when there were were 2 beds of nearly 70sq m, with next to no charges, not far away, in nicer roads, for the same or a bit less. Though of course the oldbuilds did not have a shiny, cunningly interior-designed 'stylish' show home, with twigs and pebbles and lime green cushions on the oh so trendy grey bedding.
  23. My 'favourite' property writer in the Times (favourite as in the one I most enjoyed bitching about) used to write about prices 'improving'. Unknown to me, 'improving' had apparently become synonymous with 'increasing'. Not sure anyone ever told the OED.
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